Magpie Mine, Derbyshire





I went out before dawn this morning to try for some shots in both 5×4 and digital. First I revisited Birchen Edge, having gone there a couple of days back and returned with a lovely shot of a bracken frond on birch bark, taken on the D800E:

ISO 100 2″ f/16, Lee CPL



Sadly I felt no inspiration this morning, and the light was pretty grim: so no shots here. I then went past Bakewell up towards Sheldon to visit Magpie Mine – a very evocative old lead mine with a fascinating and troubled history. I scouted out the location yesterday, simply to check whether the herd of cows was roaming the site or not (as it was on a previous visit): I’m never comfortable photographing near herds of cows, and if my head was buried under a dark cloth this wouldn’t have been good at all. Happily, the cows were holed up in their barn, so I returned this morning.


I have to say that this is a very cold spot: it’s quite an elevated spot in the White Peak, and the wind just whisks straight across the landscape. Overcast conditions and a bit of light rain were fine – I knew I’d be looking for detail or B&W shots here, but the sheer amount of wind made shooting even with the Nikon quite trying, so sadly the Linhof didn’t make it out of the bag. Nevermind, plenty of more opportunities; I also managed to do a little more scouting on the return to base, in particular finding another abandoned barn that may work out very well.


At the mine I took a couple of shots with the Nikon and 85PC-E. In both shots, movements came in very handy. For the close detail shot of the winch mechanism, I used swing to set the plane of focus across the smaller cog to get its whole face in focus. With the cage lift shot, I used a lot of rise and a bit of back tilt to aid with the composition. Quite happy with both of these; I processed the cage lift shot in both colour and B&W, and it’s better in B&W. So here are the two shots:


Magpie Mine Cage Lift Detail




Nikon D800E/85PC-E

ISO 100 1/10 f/13



Magpie Mine Winch Closeup





Nikon D800E/85PC-E

ISO 100 0.4” f/18





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